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Report No. 104

2.3. Privy Council construction of Statute referred to above.-

The Privy Council further laid down1 that the statute referred to above protecting Provincial Magistrates in India from actions for any wrong or injury done by them in the exercise of their judicial offices) did not confer unlimited protection on Magistrate. It placed them on the same footing as English courts of similar jurisdiction. The Privy Council saw no reason why Indian judges should be "more or less protected than English judges of general and limited jurisdictiOn under the like circumstances."

According to the Privy Council, to give them (Indian judges) an exemption from liability when acting bona fide but without jurisdiction would be to place them on a better footing than the English judges, and would leave the injured individual wholly without remedy. The Privy Council further observed:-

"For, English Judges, when they act wholly without jurisdiction, whether they may suppose they had it or not, have no privilege; and the justice of the peace, whether acting as such, or in their judicial character, in case of summary conviction, have no other privileges than that of having notice of action, a limitation of time for bringing it, a restriction as to the venue, the power of tendering amends, and of pleading the general issue, with certain advantages as to costs."

The Judicial Officers Protection Act, 1850 Back

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